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Feb 4, 2013 08:29 AM


Kohaku is a sister restaurant of Ishikawa and itself boasts two M stars. Most of the courses are excellent and impressive. The deep fried bamboo shoots was V good. The suppon rice ball was ingenious. I am quite accustomed to suppon and egg custard, but suppon on top of plan rice is also a perfect match. Next comes a trafitional fare, soup with dumpling. I don't care much for traditnal Japanese dumplings, be it fish or shrimps in soup. But the sow crab dumpling was a real delight. The freshness of the crab is complemented by the clear soup. In lieu of the usual sashimi, I had kinmedai in vinegared jelly, also a surprise and tastes refreshing. The real highlight was the sukiyaki beef with truffle and egg. Divine !!!! There were also the ankimo, yellow tail in white miso soup and crab porridge. All in all, am excellent meal. Personally, I prefer Kohaku to Ishikawa.

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  1. I think it might be helpful if you provided some contact info about some of these restaurants you review as the English names like "Kohaku" and "Den", for example, can be quite generic in the Japanese language and there could be multiple places with that pronunciation and English spelling. In Japanese, they will be distinguished by the kanji they are written in. So that would help. But the location as well.

    The Kohaku I assumed you visited is in Kagurasaka, is written as "Tiger White"- in that order. That's a little unique I think as normal pronunciation I think would mean "amber" with different kanji. And "Ishikawa", besides being the name of a prefecture, is a common Japanese surname. You sort of save a couple of googling steps if you can be a bit more specific....But nice review. Kinmedai in vinegared jelly. Hmm, that sounds intriguing...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay

      You can't be serious. He said it's the Kohaku with 2 Michelin stars, sister restaurant of Ishikawa, a very well known restaurant. What's next? Requesting a map for every post about a restaurant?

      Thanks for the review, CWFoodie. Ishikawa seems to be the most influential chef in Tokyo today, judging by the success of his pupils (Ren, Den, Kohaku).

      1. re: babreu

        Calm down. You know the restaurant. Others may not. It's helpful for people. Read past posts. There is occasionally confusion on names and locations. Why would you go out of your way to dismiss something that can make it easier for people to find restaurants?

        1. re: babreu

          I agree with Silverjay - not just for this posting, but in general on the Japan board, it's much more reader-friendly to include a few details like location and type of restaurant.

          There are over 100,000 restaurants in Tokyo, so it's not like everybody instantly recalls the names of all the top restaurants as one might in London or Los Angeles, even if it's their job to keep track of the dining scene.

          And of course there are multiple restaurants with the same name, so asking your hotel to make a reservation at Birdland might result in them calling the jazz club in Akasaka rather than the yakitoriya in Ginza (as happened to someone on this board awhile back). Even a search on "Kohaku Tokyo" on Tripadvisor returns two results - one in Arakawa and one in "Chuo" (not very helpful), but not the one being discussed here.

          1. re: Robb S

            In case anyone needs it, here is the Tabelog page for Kohaku in Kagurazaka.


            I went last March and had an excellent meal. One of the highlights was crab sashimi in what is likely the same vinegared jelly served to the original poster. Photo are attached.

            1. re: ruprecht25

              Tabelog links are the best actually...Kohaku has a Kagurazaka address but is closer to Iidabashi Station.

      2. How would you compare the service and overall feeling of the restaurant compared to Ishikawa? Did you sit at the counter?

        1 Reply
        1. re: la2tokyo

          I did sit at the counter and the overall ambience was very akin to ishikawa. The chef or his assistance endeavored to explain each dish, there was a printed menu and he chef escorted me out of the restaurant when the meal finished. Admirable Japanese hospitality.

        2. Interesting. Ishikawa seem to be doing well with their network of restaurants. I had not realised that they had (at least) two sister restaurants. I know REN, also in Kagurazaka, which is great, cheaper than Ishikawa (which in itself is not badly priced for a restaurant of its type) and also has (I think - not 100% sure) 2 Michelin stars. Rather informal place run by a talented young man who used to work at Ishikawa.